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Title: The community of Saint Cuthbert : its properties, rights and claims from the ninth century to the twelfth
Author: Hall, David John
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1984
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Symeon of Durham's history of the church of Durham, a number of earlier narratives and the fine collection of twelfth century Durham charters formed the basis for this history of the Community of Saint Cuthbert before 1150. They generally concentrated upon the acquisition and maintenance of the community's lands, the changes in which reflected the major events in northern history. The survival of the sources and the story they tell bear witness to the remarkable resilience and continuity of the community. At no time did it suffer the destruction characteristic of northern monasticism, often flourishing at times of upheaval, as during the Scandinavian and Norman Conquests. In its first days the acquisition of land was, predictably, associated with early Anglian settlement, especially royal sites. Throughout the period the growth of the patrimony was largely dependent upon royal patronage, though some bishops were also avid acquirers of land. Royal and other lay patronage can be directly associated with the need to gather support in the north. Rulers secure in the north, as native northern earls, or strong enough to subdue the area were unlikely to be great benefactors and were inclined to despoil the church. For the Cuthbertine community jurisdictional rights were important and there is evidence to suggest that there existed a substantial jurisdictional immunity within the patrimony by the tenth century. The rights of sanctuary of a mother church and the immunities of church land in the seventh century seem to have been important factors in its establishment, rather than, as has generally been suggested, the alienation of comital rights to Durham in the late eleventh century. The combination of landed wealth, jurisdictional privilege and survival accounts for the immense power of the community in the north from the seventh century onwards.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Monastic and religious life ; History ; Church history ; England ; Northern ; England